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Overview

Jonas co-leads the firm’s class action practice.  The firm stands out in the class action world for its superior investigation, research, and analysis, and its ability to take complex actions to trial.  Business Insider named Jonas a “rising star of the courtroom” for his ability to try complex class actions.

For example, in 2019, Jonas tried a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action in Oregon federal court.  Jonas delivered the opening and the direct exam of the class representative (the key witness for the class).  The jury returned a $925 million verdict for the class.

Before becoming a trial attorney, Jonas was a jury consultant.  He picked juries and conducted mock trial research for a wide variety of cases, including class action, breach of contract, patent, and real estate disputes.

Education

  • Stanford Law School, (J.D. Order of the Coif, 2009)
  • Stanford University, (M.A. psychology, 2009)
  • Princeton University, (B.A. summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2005)

Notable Cases

Class Actions

COVID-19 refund litigation.  2020 began normally, with consumers paying in advance for season passes to ski resorts and amusement parks.  Then the pandemic hit in March, and those passes became worthless. Instead of providing fair and proportional refunds, some companies kept 100% of the money that consumers paid for the season.  We have obtained early, favorable rulings for consumers in multiple COVID-19 refund class actions.  For example, this ruling for season ski pass holders.

Protecting ordinary investors.   Vanguard markets its “target date” retirement funds as a “set it and forget it” option for ordinary investors.  In 2020, to cater to large retirement plans, Vanguard made a fund management decision that heaped unprecedented capital gains tax liability on smaller, ordinary investors.  We represent the proposed class of injured investors in a class action in federal court in Pennsylvania.   Here is the complaint.

Millions of robocalls.   ViSalus is a multi-level marketing company that sells weight loss products.  To market its products, it made millions of illegal, pre-recorded robocalls to over 800,000 class members nationwide.  We were retained to try the case, in Oregon federal court, and we obtained a $925 million jury verdict for the class.  The district court then upheld the verdict.  

“Non-drowsy” medicine that makes you drowsy.  Many companies sell over-the-counter “Non-Drowsy” cough medicines.  Consumers rely on this medicine when they are driving, working, and supervising their children (when drowsiness is unwanted and even dangerous).  But the truth is that these medicines contain Dextromethorphan, a drug that causes drowsiness.  Consumers are being deceived, overcharged, and even put in danger.  We represent the plaintiffs in ten consumer class actions, in federal courts across the country.

The Boeing 737 Max 8.  In 2017, Boeing put its 737 MAX 8 aircraft into service.  The airliner had a known defect that caused two new planes to crash, killing 346 people on board.  After the crashes, the 737 MAX 8 was grounded worldwide.  We represent plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging that Boeing and Southwest colluded to hide these safety issues from consumers and overcharged them for tickets.  The case was certified as a class action in September 2021.

Illegal online gaming.  Over the last decade, the world’s leading slot machine makers teamed up with Apple, Google, and Facebook to deliver addictive social gambling apps to smartphones, tablets, and internet browsers.   These apps allow consumers to purchase virtual “chips” with real money, and then gamble those chips in the hopes of winning more chips.  In 2020 alone, consumers gambled an estimated $6 billion on these apps.  These gambling apps are illegal under state anti-gambling laws.  We represent the plaintiffs in multi-district litigation against Apple, Google, and Facebook.  

Business Litigation

Toys “R” Us bankruptcy fallout.  Toys “R” Us was one of the world’s largest retail businesses.  In September 2017, it entered a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with its officers and directors touting an unprecedented “milestone-free” $3.1 billion financing facility that would give the company the ability to pay its post-bankruptcy suppliers (mostly toy vendors), while it developed a viable restructuring plan.  These assurances were illusory, and 6 months later, Toys “R” Us defaulted on its financing and collapsed.  This left toy vendors and other creditors with an unprecedented $800 million in unpaid claims.  We represent the TRU Creditor Litigation Trust in its lawsuit against the former directors and officers of Toys “R” Us.

The New York Wheel.  The New York Wheel was set to be the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere, located on the Staten Island Waterfront.  Its developer hired the Mammoet construction company to build it for a $165 million, fixed-priced contract.  But due to intentional breaches by Mammoet, it was never completed.  We represent the developer and lender in a breach of contract action in state court in New York.     

Joining Dovel & Luner

When I graduated from law school, I was interested in two things: trial advocacy and jury psychology.  Working as an associate at a large law firm would not have much to do with either of those things.  So I made an unconventional choice for a law student and went into jury consulting.

During the four years I spent doing jury consulting, I got to see how juries all over the country think about a wide variety of case types, from personal injury to patent.  And I got to see the many different styles of effective trial attorneys.  But after a few years, I wanted the challenge of doing the trials, rather than just advising on them.

I already knew I was not going to get what I wanted at a large firm.  Then I found Dovel.  It was a small firm, focused on trials, where associates get meaningful experience in complex, high-stakes cases.  And because it is an unconventional firm, they liked my unconventional background.

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